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Rapido 997M 2006


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Hi All

I'm looking to change my Niesmann and Bischoff Arto 64GL 2003 for a Rapido 997M 2006 with the Mercedes 2.7 Semi Auto Box. I've been trying to read about the Rapido brand and specifically about the Mercedes Engine and Gearbox as I know nothing about them. Any comments or info on whether this engine is good and build quality of the Rapido before I commit would be very helpful.

Thanks in advance.


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I have no knowledge of Rapidos but I had two MHs with that engine and gearbox, the last one being an Auto-trail Grande Frontier (yes, I know!) which was much maligned but I loved it.


The engine and gearbox combination is great. We towed a trailer with a Smart and you just didn't know it was there, no matter what the terrain. I recall a bit of a lag when accelerating hard under various conditions but, once used to it, you just took it in your stride. A very relaxing drive on long distance cruising.


Not so much an engine/gearbox issue, more chassis related but there is more of a roll than normal, although, to be fair, I only realised in retrospect after I got my first Fiat-based MH.

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We are on our 2nd Rapido which is 7.4m island bed on a Fiat base. We have had no problems other than below, with the Rapido build or coach work. The latter needs a good polish and wax annually. (That is all it gets ! Btw use a non silicon marine polish) .


We did have a leak between the flexible roof lining and roof panelling, It was a known problem with Rapidos with roof rail fixings. Rapido workforce were a little light, or as in our case, non existent , mastic under and around the roof fixings. No damage was caused in spite of the cascade of water from the rear hatch.


We had a MOT failure due to faulty wiring of a fog light,


Only other complaint that Rapido (may be a continental thing) has a minimal number of mains power sockets.


Otherwise all good ! I would consider a third Rapido, but might be swayed by a proper oven, grill and hob. That said, I drive, the navigator cooks, and I have suffered no ill effects from the excellent food she prepares due to lack of facilities.


Our Rapido is not an A class, so unable to comment about the front cab area or accessibility to the engine bay for maintence, cam belts and other bits of engine that have to attended to.









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As an engineering craftsman and having hired twice We bought new from a show through the Wokingham agent. A 2006 Rapido 987M and used it for 6 years, fitted with a cruise control, we never had any difficulties. One of us became ill so it had to go and we are now smaller and lighter and only do single days away.


I decided on the Rapido body after re-searching all the for sales ads and complaints comments, and the Mercedes engine due to their past history and country of origin. The gearbox was the standard fitting. at that time. I've repaired engines and gear boxes in the past but am a know-nothing person in that I accept how something is made and adjust accordingly.


It wasn't great in muddy fields but what is. There were 2 double beds so each had their own space.


Would I have another new, I'm out of touch but would look at a Mercedes as a first choice.


The only thing we didn't do were extremely high mountain roads. otherwise it was perfect and a lot better ride than our present VW. I made several minor adjustments inside, the biggest being draughts. I had no intention of parting with it but human life is the deciding controller.


PS ref what Tony has said above I'm not a car washer so the only cleaning I gave it were from the dozens of spiders who were attracted to the white body. I was also the cook and clearer upper. We are very simple minded and carried little clutter. The main benefit was we could spread out. At one event we had 15 friends in for snacks ... all seated. A great vehicle we thought.



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The rapido used to be my "I'll have one of those one day" but I would want to comment on the semi auto box, generally called sprintshift with a Merc.


Our Geist but with a 2.7 and Sprintshift worked well until about 26000 miles, when some sort of Gremlin decided to live in the Sprintshift semi auto box. The first time at Assissi, it wouldn't go into neutral so we could start the engine. After calling for help from the RAC and St Francis, it worked when I was trying to decsribe the problem to the Italian mechanic who had just turned up 2 hours later.


It was about 5 months before it did it again, this time at home, and this time it went to the main dealer on a lorry. In the next couple of months it went on the low loader 2 or 3 times before we decided to trade it on. on the day we were going to a dealer to exchange it for a new van, I drove out of the drive , down the street and stopped after 30 yds on the main road because something was rattling and put it in neutral whilst I sorted the rattling cups in the cupboard. When I sat down again to set off, it wouldn't go into gear and again went to the main dealer on a lorry.


There were a succession of problems reported as hydraulic pack and filter problems and secondly problems with electrical connectors. We did manage to part exchange it the following day and the dealer was aware of the issues we were having.


So all i can say is be wary of issues with Merc Sprintshifts, I understand Tesco had alot of problems with their delivery vans at one time


cheers alan

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